Brad Winderbaum, creator of The Futurist (about which I have already blogged) and the assistant to the executive producer on the upcoming Marvel Comics Iron Man film -- as well as a frequent contributor here -- today launches his new project, Satacracy 88, at itsallinyourhands.com. The format? Four-minute live-action choose-your-own-adventure micro-television webisodes premiering once a month on your computer or cell phone. The genre? David Lynch meets Alias. The powerful lead actress Diahnna Nicole Baxter, Brad's girlfriend, has recently finished shooting a horror movie called Shadow Puppets with James Marsters (Spike on Buffy). Go see the short now, and come right back here for the commentary.
Filmmaking is expensive, and if you don't have a blockbuster budget you have to make the limitation work for you. You want to see a perfect example of working with a low budget in the sci-fi genre? Rent Primer. You want to see another one? Go back and watch Satacracy 88. Like early Marvel Comics the fantasy is invigorated by a real world heft. The whole thing takes place in our world, not a stylized funhouse universe, and it is better off for it. David Lynch once remarked that he likes to film in people's houses because you cannot re-create the knick-knacks real people collect. With a 200 million dollar sci-fi budget, you would never think of the simple detail of the post-its on Susan's computer screen. Real people, the viewers, will be deciding what happens; the world should be theirs.
The details are exquisite: the logo, the sound design when Angela cuts the tomato with subtly violent precision, the jump-cut editing in the bathroom, the 88 push-ups, the disorienting fade-to blacks (did anything happen in the interim?), those eyes. I thought the B-movie horror nightmare -- the laughing face with the bloody mouth and the black background -- was a nice touch (when we have nightmares aren't they all like B-movies?); David Lynch and Alias are two influences, and both draw on B-movies heavily (Lynch pulls on everything from bad cop movies and soap operas to Rebel Without a Cause knockoffs and J.J. Abrams has said that Towering Inferno is his favorite movie).
Does she take the pill or not? Go vote now, then come right back here and give the director some feedback (he is reading your posts). The e-mail everyone you know and send them the link. The more support this project gets the better it will be. Then in a month -- like a comic book -- you will get the next installment. Get in on the ground floor of this so that when your friends shove cell phones in your hands and try to get you to watch it you can tell them that, not only have you been watching it, you also guided it to where it is now.